Jab Tak Hai Jaan – Movie Review Filmygyan.Com

Cast: Shah Rukh Khan, Katrina Kaif, Anushka Sharma

Director: Yash Chopra

Filmygyan Rating: ***1/2

The title of Yash Chopra’s swan-song has a retrospective bitter-sweetness to it : the veteran director did not live to see his film in the theatres. ‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan’ has released, in old YRF tradition, on Deepawali, but what the title manages to say pithily takes the fllm nearly three very long hours, and the pay-off isn’t as sweet as it should have been.

The story may be set in today’s times, but the theme is very Yash Chopra, wherein true love happens only once in a lifetime, and it trumps all else. Samar Anand ( SRK) has two lives, and two ladies. He oscillates between London and Leh, and between the rich miss Meera Thapar ( Kaif) and the spunky go-getter Akira Rai ( Sharma) : the London-Meera axis happens pre-interval, wherein Samar plays a busker warbling sufi geet, a waiter and a supermarket assistant, and managing to romance his pretty lass on the side; in the second half, he plays a dishy stubbled bomb disposal expert in Ladakh and the Kashmir valley, being stalked by gutsy Dilli girl Akira who is dying to be a reporter with the Discovery channel.

There’s welcome detailing in Aditya Chopra’s story, which should have turned into a crackling romance in his seasoned father’s hands. But the film bumps along the twists that are telegraphed miles ahead, and gets stuck in the oldest shtick in the world : a lead character suffers from a bang on the head, twice, and, believe it or faint, memory loss. So you don’t quite get a ‘main kahaan hoon, main kaun hoon’ kind of solemnly-intoned ‘retrograde amnesia’, but it’s close. There are also a few laugh out loud sequences while sundry bombs are being disposed, but I’m not going to spoil them for you : you need to experience the hilarity first hand.

Chopra’s trademark expertise in keeping the drama at just the right pitch is not always evident. Not all the songs have a strong emotional connect, and the A R Rahman soundtrack doesn’t quite overwhelm either. I loved the ‘Challa’ song, though : in its sweep and its lyrics, it encompasses the kind of romance that was completely Yash Chopra’s. Of the two ladies, Kaif rises to the occasion only occasionally, and Sharma’s bubbliness, though nice, seems stretched.

Finally, though, what keeps you with the film is Shah Rukh Khan who is first-rate. He pulls every familiar trick of his, and he comes up with a couple we haven’t seen before. This is the star in a lover boy avatar we haven’t seen him in for a long time, and this is what lets him shed his clown-self, and allows his ladies to swoon. Fittingly, Yash Chopra’s final film will be remembered for the guy who gave the director a boost when he needed it, back then with ‘Darr’. Watch this one for Shah Rukh, who can still do the dimpled boy wonder and the older, mature lover with a wry smile and wounded wink and sexy nudge.




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